On March 13, the league match in England was moved until April 3, but just six days later, the FA announced that the Premier League and other leagues would resume no later than April 30.
But given that the spread of the new coronavirus has since accelerated in the UK – 6,650 people were confirmed infected on Monday and 335 people died – it seems impossible to play football in England again in just over a month.
Not least since Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced in a televised address Monday evening that Britain would be closed in principle for the next three weeks, and that no more than two people would be allowed to gather in public.
Already this weekend, the reputable Telegraph reported that it is instead expected that only the league match will be recorded on June 1, a prediction that EFL Chairman Rick Barry agreed in an interview with the BBC that day.
And now the collective player begins to prepare for the fact that the end of the season will be played in front of empty stands.
In the best of worlds, we played in front of packed stands, but I think we are now in a position where there is no other alternative, says PFA Executive Vice President Bobby Barnes to The Athletic.
The players I spoke with agreed that this would be the case.
Bobby Barnes continues:
Football is nothing without the fans. But the reality of the lion’s share of the players, not the least of whom are at the highest level, is that their income is financed with television money, and there are agreements that must be followed.
For us (PFA), it’s about protecting players in order to secure their salaries. And if that (playing without fans) was the only option available to complete the season – well, that would be it.
In an interview with the BBC that day, the president of the English Football Association, Rick Barry, said that next season would also be affected by the coronavirus.
He said that the idea that this is over in June and that we start next season in August is a wish-mind.
CLIP: Spain captain: “Keep on believing”